Cast your memories back to spring/early summer 2022 and you may remember the outrage at the treatment of P&O Ferries’ staff. The Government promised regulation of fire and rehire practices with a statutory code. However, P&O were rather more focused on the fire rather than the rehire so a code might not have helped. Do read our ebriefing on Fire and rehire: How to keep your boat afloat to remind yourself of the details.

Fire and rehire: Dismissal and re-engagement

Where are we now?

  • The promised draft code has not materialised. We had been promised a first sight of it in the summer of 2022. The Department for BEIS noted on 3 November that a code would be published in the 'near future'.
  • The Government has, however, made it clear that whilst they are still in favour of a statutory code, they are NOT pushing for a ban on the practice of dismissal and re-engagement. As a practice, it should be, they considered, used as an absolute last resort when all other ways of resolving the situation have been exhausted and in limited circumstances.
  • They are considering the option whereby tribunals consider noncompliance with the code and award uplifts to compensation. This would make sense; it mirrors other codes and ensures that the code has some teeth. 

As with the many current moving parts of employment law and practice, we will of course keep you updated of any changes. If you would like more information about the fire and rehire or dismiss and re-engage process, please do contact me. I can either advise you on a specific issue or provide you with a checklist tool which will take you through the process and assess the risks of the dismissal and re-engagement process.